NHL Rumor Mill – April 17, 2023
NHL Rumor Mill – April 17, 2023
What will the Senators do with Alex DeBrincat? Should the Red Wings pursue him? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
LATEST SENATORS SPECULATION
THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes noted a lot of Senators fans and media were concerned over what they considered Alex DeBrincat’s lukewarm answers on Friday regarding his future in Ottawa.
Mendes indicated that DeBrincat told him that he enjoyed playing and living in Ottawa but wants some time to figure out his future. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has indicated his club will submit the $9 million qualifying offer to DeBrincat by the June 25 deadline. The winger’s camp has until July 15 to accept it. If they don’t, he remains a restricted free agent and his rights still belong to the Senators for 2023-24.
Mendes believes the Senators hope to negotiate a long-term contract for DeBrincat with an average annual value of less than $9 million. However, they could consider trading him if he’s only interested in accepting his qualifying offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes DeBrincat could be traded by the opening round of this 2023 Draft in Nashville in late June. We’ll likely know by mid-June how this situation will play out.
Turning to the Senators’ goaltending, Mendes doesn’t see pending UFA Cam Talbot returning. He believes they need to aggressively target a proven goalie for next season.
The UFA market is thin with Joonas Korpisalo, Tristan Jarry, Jonathan Quick and Frederik Andersen carrying significant questions. Mendes suggested they package some younger pieces to land a netminder via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch recently reported Dorion sniffed around for a goalie before the trade deadline but Talbot was healthy and promising Mads Sogaard was solid through late February. With Talbot likely a goner and Sogaard possibly heading to the AHL next season, Dorion could be active in this summer’s trade market.
SHOULD THE RED WINGS PURSUE DEBRINCAT
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff examined the pros and cons of the Red Wings pursuing DeBrincat. He noted that Wings GM Steve Yzerman and head coach Derek Lalonde last week indicated their team needed more scoring.
Acquiring a two-time 40-goal scorer like DeBrincat would fill that need for the Red Wings. He’s also a native of Farmington Hills, Michigan, leading Duff to wonder if he’d be open to a homecoming.
The downside is the 5’8”, 178-pound DeBrincat would be adding another small forward to a team already on the small side. There’s also his contract situation making him a risky acquisition unless he agrees to an extension as part of the deal. Duff wondered how he’d feel about joining yet another rebuilding team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings have the depth in tradeable assets to make a tempting offer to the Senators. They also have the cap space to sign him to a lucrative long-term contract.
Whether they’re willing to make that kind of major deal, however, is another matter. They’ll also have to outbid several other teams that will certainly have an interest in DeBrincat, especially given the lack of young talent in this year’s UFA market.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently noted Yzerman’s comments indicating he’ll look to the free-agent market to bolster the Wings’ offense. The Wings GM acknowledged the lack of depth in this summer’s market and how it will likely get thinner when some of those players re-sign with their current teams.
Khan speculated Yzerman could also go the trade route. He pointed out the Wings have accumulated a lot of draft capital to use as trade chips, including two first-round picks and three second-rounders in this year’s draft, and two second-rounders next year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman has mostly eschewed making big trades apart from shipping Anthony Mantha to Washington at the 2021 deadline for Jakub Vrana and draft picks. That was a trade that initially looked good for both clubs but ultimately turned into a stinker.
However, Yzerman might not have much choice if this summer’s UFA market gets depleted quickly. Someone like the Senators’ DeBrincat could prove to be a tempting trade target.